• 2 men charged with manatee harassment


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Charges were filed against two men accused of harassing manatees in Brevard County.

    Eyewitness News first showed video in May when it was posted on YouTube and both state and federal agents launched an investigation.

    The video shows a man actually jumping on manatees from a dock.

    Taylor Martin and Seth Stephenson are facing federal charges for a violation of the Endangered Species Act, because investigators learned it actually happened last year, and the statute of limitations ran out on state charges.

    In the video, one of the suspects appears to be spraying water on the manatees with the hose.

    It then goes to a shot of the manatees clearly in the water, and moments later a second suspect appears to jump right on top of the manatees.

    Everyone can be heard laughing in the video.

    Martin is the man believed to be jumping and Stephenson is the man believed to be using the hose.

    Investigators said this happened in Cocoa Beach in a Manateee protection zone last year where people are supposed to leave them alone.

    The charge is a misdemeanor, but carries a penalty of up to one year behind bars and a $100,000 fine.

    The men have not been arrested, but have been sent a summons to appear in court next month.

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